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ANSI Board Member Keith Bird Addresses Southern Governors' Association on Bolstering the Economy through Credentialing

9/07/2011
ANSI News
With job creation and economic growth topping the agendas of industry, government, and the American public alike, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board Member Dr. Keith W. Bird recently addressed the Southern Governors' Association (SGA) on the importance of competency-based credentials in bolstering the American workforce and creating postsecondary career pathways. A senior policy fellow for workforce and postsecondary education at the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Dr. Bird was part of a panel discussing workforce issues with the SGA.

According to Dr. Bird, a stronger commitment to industry-recognized credentials and a system of common standards that supports them is critical to strengthening the American labor market. A competency-based credentialing system can reduce employer search and transaction costs, increase job security and portability, and help ensure competitive, quality jobs.

In his presentation, Dr. Bird stressed the importance of aligning competencies, standards, and credentials to support "outcome performance measures" - a student's ability to demonstrate what has been learned - rather than "input measures" such as credit hours. Credentials, Dr. Bird emphasized, should reliably communicate to employers that students and workers have the competencies they need to be successful in the labor market.

Dr. Bird urged the Southern Governors' Association to promote the joint establishment of standards, credentials, and quality assurance mechanisms that link business and education. He also called for the governors to champion the transformation professional development at the postsecondary level by supporting "stackable" credentials and embedding industry certifications in curricula.

View Dr. Bird's presentation to the Southern Governors' Association here.


Founded in 1934, Southern Governors' Association (SGA) supports the work of Southern governors by providing a bipartisan, regional forum to help shape and implement national policy and solve regional problems. The association's membership is composed of the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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